“I know there is no one that will be with me, so I guess I’m learning to live with that. Staying in the house will not cure me. It only keeps me discreet from people that I hope have forgotten who I am. I don’t want anyone to know. It depresses me when waking up every day and I have a ton of meds to take and think about being alone for the rest of my life. You are going through the same thing. Don’t you ever feel like you can’t be alone?”
“No, Ming, it’s true. Thomas will never be with me. No man will. I’m fine with that. I have to be.”
Tears are falling down my cheeks, and I can’t hold them back. Ming tries consoling me, but to no avail.
“You notice why I haven’t talked about Thomas much,” I ask Ming.
We are still at the meeting point downtown, the park at the bus stop on Balbo and Michigan. I sit down on the nearest bench and Ming joins me.
I have not told her that at the end of the summer, Thomas and I had a conversation. After Ming and Cashmere made up, I left. I got home to start a chat with Thomas like I sometimes do, and he was very distant. He wanted to meet and go for coffee before he left for L.A., again, and I was fine with that. Before that day came, we had chat more about work and different things happening with us and then he asked if I was dating.
ThomasEg: “You are a beautiful young woman and seem very nice. I find it hard to believe that you aren’t seeing anyone.”
VonneVonne: “Well, it’s a very long story. I may tell it one day.”
ThomasEg: “Let me guess, your heart was broken and now you hate all men?” ‘Laughing,’ emoji.
VonneVonne: “Someone has hurt me before, but this is ten times worse.”
I want so much to tell this guy that I’m so damaged but fear he will no longer be interested in me. We are flirting back and forth in this messenger app, (well, I am not sure about him) and I want to keep it going. Am I wrong for not being upfront?
ThomasEg: “Yvonne, I feel there is something you want to tell me.”
“There is, Thomas,” I type as I fight to hold back tears. “I am living with HIV! I am HIV positive!”
There is a long pause, and I can’t take it anymore. I slam my laptop shut, leaving Thomas with his thoughts of what I have just revealed about me. I get up from the desk sobbing, and storm into my bed, lay in a fetal position, and cry until I fall asleep.
Back downtown where I am with Ming, I look at her after telling her what happened with Thomas, and her eyes are wide and jaw nearly to the ground.
“Oh my God, you told him,” Ming exclaims.
I nod as I’m wiping my tears.
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